Arvest Bank Trust’s Whittaker Receives Industry Appointments

Thursday, February 15 at 03:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Wealth Management (AWM) is pleased to recognize Dennis J. Whittaker’s recent appointments involving the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and the Southern Municipal Finance Society. 

Whittaker serves as senior vice president and fixed income portfolio manager for Arvest Bank Trust, a division of Arvest Bank. In that role, Whittaker manages the fixed income portfolios for a book of high-profile client accounts. Additionally, he directs the research function for securities that have credit risk for both client portfolios and the bank’s investment portfolio. 

Whittaker is based in Little Rock, but serves in a support role to AWM’s investment management group, which serves the entire Arvest footprint. He was recently appointed as: 

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Municipal Finance Society
  • The Chair of the Board of Directors of the Southern Municipal Finance Society
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts 

The Southern Municipal Finance Society is a constituent society of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts. The latter is a nonprofit industry association with the goals of: 

  • Promoting professionalism in municipal credit analysis,
  • Furthering the skill level of its members through educational programs and industry communication, providing a platform by which analysts can exchange information,
  • Advocating, when appropriate, issues of importance to the municipal finance industry, and
  • Facilitating the flow of information among market participants, especially in terms of better issuer disclosure 

“This is a testament to the knowledge, insight and expertise that Dennis brings to the municipal finance industry,” Arvest Bank Trust president and CEO Donny Rogers said. “We are thrilled to congratulate him on these significant industry achievements.” 

Whittaker, a Chartered Financial Analyst®, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Arkansas. He also is a member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society. 

Tags: Associates, Little Rock
 

Arvest Bank Promotes Israel in Shawnee

Friday, February 09 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Kirk Israel has been promoted to senior vice president and senior client advisor for Arvest Wealth Management (AWM). 

Israel, a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, is based out of the Arvest branch at 201 N. Broadway. His areas of specialization include comprehensive financial planning, retirement planning, asset allocation analysis, and insurance product analysis. 

“Kirk is a fine example of our mission statement, which is ‘People helping people find financial solutions for life,’” said Paul Krus, an AWM regional manager. “This promotion is well-deserved, and I know both Arvest and our customers can look forward to more great things from Kirk.” 

A native of Elk City, Israel lives in Shawnee with his wife, Taylor, and their two children. Among other civic endeavors, he is an active member of Faith Community Church of God.

Tags: Associates, Shawnee
 

Finding and Keeping Good Employees

Wednesday, February 07 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

The following article is republished with permission from the Feb. 8, 2018 edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.


When I am visiting with local small business owners about their biggest challenges, the majority of them answer, “Finding and keeping good employees.”

As unemployment rates in Northwest Arkansas have declined and stayed at historically low levels, the issue of finding and keeping good employees has required more attention and resources from employers. This significant variable in the business equation is one to pay close attention to when considering starting a new business or major change in one’s business.

When putting together a business plan, many will plug an arbitrary number into the “payroll” line item without digging into what makes up the line item. Expecting even average performance from an employee may cost you much more than the hourly wage estimations from the region. The expectation of average performance (and many owners expect more than just average) from average pay may not be met.

As current and potential business owners are working through their labor projections, they need to ask themselves some critical questions:

  • Do I fully understand the day-to-day operations of my business and what my current (or future) employees are doing?
  • Do I have clear guidelines for duties and performance for each of my employees? Were expectations made clear when the employee was considering employment? Have these been communicated clearly and frequently?
  • How involved will my employees be in the strategy of growing and improving my business? Do my employees understand how the business makes a profit and ways to increase the margins? Do I have incentives in place for this behavior? Do I share bottom-line performance with my employees or is it kept a mystery?
  • Will I give employees financial and operational responsibilities that are not overseen (e.g. bank deposits, reconciliations, customer invoicing and collections)? Do I have a system of checks and balances in place for certain critical duties, and are these procedures reviewed regularly? Do all employees and contractors (payroll, accounting, etc.) know that I will be auditing transactions and documentation on a regular basis (This happens much less than you think, and to dire consequences)?
  • What are the key skills and traits a good employee needs, and am I ready to train the rest?
  • Am I passionate about the mission of my business and can I effectively convince my employees of the same?

This may sound like a lot of work, but a business will not be successful if it does not have the right people in place working toward the same goal. If, as an employer, you do not have a clearly articulated mission and clearly defined expectations, you will spend greater time and resources on frequent employee turnover, and expose the business to unnecessary reputational, operational and financial risks.

Loyal, energetic and easy-to-teach employees have always been in high demand and – with reports indicating 90% of small business owners plan to hire 1-2 new employees in 2018 – the competition for these individuals will become more intense.

Potential employees have options. Employers will need to do some soul-searching as to what makes their business special and unique. Employers will also need to be creative with how they incentivize their employees and possibly, how they require labor from them.

  • Does your employee need to work 8-5? Can the work day be defined differently, but still achieve the desired results?
  • Can the business achieve its goal by supplementing the existing staff with key, industry-specific experts (e.g. marketing, human resources, accounting and finance)?
  • What motivates your employee? It may not be the almighty dollar, but a more flexible schedule with a chance to take four weeks off and bike the Great Divide Trail.
  • How does your business contribute to the world in a way that improves it? Will your employees feel they are part of a larger, socially conscious movement?
  • Are you communicating with your employee about how their individual performance is contributing to the overall goal and success of the business? Do they feel like they are making a difference?

As you contemplate the new year and what it means for you and your business, make sure you are spending the time and deliberation required for your employees. They are so much more than a line item.

Eileen Jennings is a commercial lender for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. She can be reached by emailing ejennings@arvest.com.

 

Tags: Financial Education
 

Arvest Bank Promotes Toland to VP

Monday, February 05 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Nathan Toland has been promoted to vice president. 

Toland, also a client advisor for Arvest Wealth Management (AWM), holds Series 7, and 66 securities licenses, as well as an Oklahoma insurance license. He primarily provides financial planning and investment advising in the Edmond and Stillwater areas. 

“This promotion is well-deserved,” said Paul Krus, an AWM regional manager. “Nathan is a valuable member of our team and is a great example of our mission statement: People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

A native of Norman, Toland earned a degree in business management at Oklahoma City Community College. He currently lives in Edmond with his wife, Dani, and their three children. Among other civic endeavors, Toland teaches Sunday School at Crossings Community Church. 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. 

About Arvest Wealth Management

Arvest Wealth Management offers wealth management, trust services and insurance products. Investment products and services provided by Arvest Investments, Inc., doing business as Arvest Wealth Management, member FINRA/SIPC, an SEC registered investment adviser and a subsidiary of Arvest Bank. Insurance products are made available through Arvest Insurance, Inc., which is registered as an insurance agency. Insurance products are marketed through Arvest Insurance, Inc., but are underwritten by insurance companies. Investments and Insurance Products: Not FDIC Insured, May Lose Value and Not Guaranteed by the Bank. Trust services provided by Arvest Bank. 

Tags: Associates, Oklahoma City
 

Arvest Bank Promotes Wright to VP

Wednesday, January 31 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Deanna Wright has been promoted to vice president. 

Wright, also a client advisor for Arvest Wealth Management (AWM), is a Certified Wealth Strategist® who holds Series 7, 63, 66 and 99 securities licenses, as well as an Arkansas insurance license. She has been in the banking industry for 10 years. 

“This promotion is well-deserved,” said Steve Burkhead, an AWM regional manager. “Deanna is a valuable member of our team and views her clients’ individual situations from a comprehensive wealth perspective.” 

Wright earned degrees in business administration at Arkansas State University and Western National University. She and her husband live in Cave Springs with their two children. Wright is an active member of her community and is a member of Cross Church Pinnacle Hills.    

Tags: Arkansas, Associates

Choose one or more categories to subscribe to:




Cancel